When will my ship come in?
My Dear Anonymous Reader,
This is a trying time, economically, yes?
With the unemployments, the stimulated packages, the financial disasters of the first and second order, the bonuses and the pilloried bank men, and all the rest, it is indeed a fearful time to be alive. We here at Poor Mojo's Laboratory and Amalgamated Media Industries are struggling as all Americans struggle. I was recently even obliged to lay off my beloved occasional lab assistant, Rob, who, like and unto the cat that came back, did likewise, which was awkward in the extreme, until I was informed by my accountant, the Mr. Leeks, that we had not, in fact, cut Rob a check since the second quarter of 2005, and so the matter was declared resolved. Unfortunately, we had still the financial hole in our budget, in need of redress.
Then I did lay off Tom, and it was told to me that he was, in fact, dead. He had been dead for many years, sundry hauntings not withstanding. I had Our Lady of the Miasmas invoke a series of necromantic conjurations, and nothing came of the investigation, and then I was informed that he had been haunting our lavatory for the last six months over an unresolved burial issue. Jarwaun did communicate with him. He confirmed his death.
And so, the hole in our budget persisted.
So, then, I did attempt to lay off The Molly, but as our Human Resourcefulness Representative she is required to sign off on all firings and releasings and let-goings. This she was unwilling to do. I commanded her to be shaken, and for her pockets to be turned inside of the outs. Sadly, all that was found was a twice washed ticket to the motion picture Hurlyburly.To which Rob inquired, "Dude, wasn't that movie, like, from 1996?"
To which Molly retorted, "I got these jeans from that Goodwill out in Adrian."
And we all meditated on our cavernous poverty.
Then I tried to lay off the Leeks, to whom I know that I pay a very rich salary. He told me that I could not do that, and because he is the only one of us who knows how to pay of our water bill, I did consent.
The chimps were not on salary, nor the crabs, nor the genetically modified puma. Devo had left our service. Sang was gone, mayhaps dead. The lab has for a long while seemed rather empty.
There is, sadly, no one left to fire. In many ways, I feel precisely like Alexander the Great.
All of this, of course, has put me in the mind of my old friend Giuseppe Arcimboldo. We fellow hellions for several years, when both he and I served at the court of Emperor Rudolf II in Prague. I, of course, was at that time on exhibit in Rudolf's cabinet of wonder (the Kunstkammer), while Giuseppe was a royal painter kept on retainer by his majesty, but we nonetheless esteemed ourselves as peers.
It was, in those days, much like it is today: there was war and the rumors of war, pestilence, violence, banking mishaps, financial chaos, occasionally tulip manias, and a deep and abiding belief in the power of God to right all wrongs and to envelope us all in a loving embrace.
In fact, I would hazard to say that these times and those days are virtually indistinguishable to me. (Though I should note that when I insisted the Rob please get a new gorget because the lace of his collar had become woefully out of fashion by the standards of the court of King Frederick II of Zealand, he did but flip of me the birds.)
Regardless, at that time Giuseppe was asking of me much as you all ask of me these days: Where are the monies Mr. Squid? And how long is your dong?
And so we contrived a scheme to sell to his royal majesty a series of paintings that would tickle his fancy and employ our dear friends in need of immediate employment.
Our first project was to create a make work project for all of the unemployed dryads and sprites of the forest, and to our delight, the emperor did love the painting we produced: "Winter."
The principal in this portrait was our dear friend and associate, Craggle; in case it fails to go without saying, holding that expression of the face for the duration of the painting of the work was both stressful and productive of hilarity, such that Craggle did "crap of the knickers" thrice during the sitting.
Of course, once Craggle had been employed, Peasblossom and his flowering brethren were quite agitated that they "get in upon the actions" and so we conspired to produce another painting, entitled "Spring."
Triva of note: In this depiction, Peasblossom is portraying the bosoms and shoulder; her sisters, Sepalbloom and Florette, depict the face and hair, respectively, and the neck and gorget is actually an armature coated in paper-mâché.
From there, it was but a little thing to employ all of Faerie, season by season for a whole year, and all to the delight of the emperor.
But of course, once you have pleased one batch of friends, you cannot leave upon the outs your others, and from there we did contrive our great achievement: The stimulated employ of the beasts of the sea, we called "Water."
Despite the folly of it, we actually cast the entire body of this figure, even though only the port-side of the bust is visible. Giuseppe and I dined upon this service for ages; for example the skate playing the role of "cheek bone-visible," Alphonse Liggi, spent the next four years buying Giuseppe a grappa whenever he happened upon him in a tavern or the street. Likewise, the rock crab who appeared as "ear-non-visible," LeRoy Le Champs, was my mid-morning snack two days later.
Sadly, though, our little make-work project was upended when our nemesis, the wretched Spranger did intercede and distract the emperor with his own work:
And from then on, it was nothing but "the boobies" that did tickle the emperor's fancy, and we were all of us back out of work.
And so, all I can see is that although an ingenious mind might pilot a ship into harbor, and thus profit from the offloading of its riches, the pornographic waves of a mad emperor's lust are just as likely to wreck that ship upon the rocks as not. But these ships, they do not simply come in; they are forcibly brought in by bold sailors upon the deck. Put your hands to the tiller, and bring it in, even if the chances of safely mooring to the dock are disappearingly slim.
Your Giant Squid
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